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"#Yourservicesucks:" Apologies in online text-based customer service

By Galia Bar
Location Bloomfield 527
Academic Program: Please choose
Wednesday 26 July 2017, 11:30 - 12:15

Service providers seek to repair their relationship with customers who have a sense of a violation of justice, in order to regain customer satisfaction and trust. Apologies are a key to restoring satisfaction following justice violations.  We examine how the presence of an apology and cause of failure implied by the apology in a customer service interaction (via Twitter) affects customer satisfaction. We examine the effects of apologies communicated through Twitter (the online social media platform), communicated by customer service representatives (CSR) to customers who have posted Twitter complaints about the company. The results of two studies show that apologies have a positive effect on customer satisfaction. Findings from a text classification analysis of 200 Twitter service interactions show that text classification isn’t sensitive enough to pick the apology solely from customers’ lines. So, employee apology may not influence the customer behavior. The research offers theoretical understanding and practical implications for effective customer service.